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Shapiro & Appleton

Families Reflect On One-Year Anniversary of Massey Mine Disaster

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It has been one year since the Massey mine disaster, which left 29 West Virginian miners dead and others injured. It is considered the worst mining accident of the last four decades, and on Tuesday, the mining company halted production and held a moment of silence for the victims of the explosion.

A year after the tragedy, ten different families have filed wrongful death civil suits against the company, Massey Energy, while at least one injured miner is seeking compensation for his injuries and his inability to return to work. At the same time, an independent investigation into the fatal explosion has found that the accident should have been prevented if not for problems with the mining company, state mining regulations, and federal mining regulations. After a year of looking into the matter, the investigator, Davitt McAteer, is expected to release his official report regarding the cause of the accident this week.

While McAteer is expected to conclude that the explosion occurred because of poor inspections and because of a poor ventilation system, the current Massey chairman has described the accident as a “natural disaster.”
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